THE COMMUNISM PORTAL

Introduction

Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal') is a philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Communism is a specific, yet distinct, form of socialism. Communists agree on the withering away of the state but disagree on the means to this end, reflecting a distinction between a more libertarian approach of communization, revolutionary spontaneity, and workers' self-management, and a more vanguardist or Communist party-driven approach through the development of a constitutional socialist state.

Variants of communism have been developed throughout history, including anarcho-communism and Marxist schools of thought. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought which broadly include Marxism, Leninism, and libertarian communism as well as the political ideologies grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from capitalism, its economic system and mode of production, namely that in this system there are two major social classes, the relationship between these two classes is exploitative, and that this situation can only ultimately be resolved through a social revolution. The two classes are the proletariat (the working class), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive, and the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. According to this analysis, revolution would put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production which is the primary element in the transformation of society towards a communist mode of production.

In the 20th century, Communist governments espousing Marxism–Leninism and its variants came into power in parts of the world, first in the Soviet Union with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then in portions of Eastern Europe, Asia, and a few other regions after World War II. Along with social democracy, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international socialist movement by the 1920s. Criticism of communism can be divided into two broad categories, namely that which concerns itself with the practical aspects of 20th century Communist states and that which concerns itself with communist principles and theory. Several academics and economists, among other scholars, posit that the Soviet model under which these nominally Communist states in practice operated was not an actual communist economic model in accordance with most accepted definitions of communism as an economic theory but in fact a form of state capitalism, or non-planned administrative-command system. (Full article...)

Selected article

The Workers' Party (Arabic: حزب العمال‎), formerly the Tunisian Workers' Communist Party (Arabic: حزب العمال الشيوعي التونسي‎, Ḥizb al-‘Ummāl ash-Shuyū‘ī at-Tūnisī ; French: Parti communiste des ouvriers de Tunisie, PCOT), is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Tunisia. Its general secretary is Hamma Hammami. After their involvement in the uprising against Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, PCOT held their first conference as a legal party on July 22–24, with up to 2000 persons attending.

In the 2011 Constituent Assembly election, the candidates of PCOT's electoral formation ran by the name "Revolutionary Alternative" (Arabic: البديل الثوريal-badīl ath-thawrī; French: Alternative révolutionaire) and won 3 of the 217 seats, in Sfax, Kairouan and Siliana. In July 2012, the PCOT decided to remove the word "communist" from its name to avoid the stereotype associated with this term.

Selected biography

Michael O'Riordan (Irish: Mícheál Ó Ríordáin, 12 November 1917 – 18 May 2006) was a leader of the Communist Party of Ireland and also fought with the Connolly Column in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.

O'Riordan was born at 37 Pope's Quay, Cork City, on 11 November 1917. He was the youngest of five children. His parents came from the West Cork Gaeltacht of Ballingeary-Gougane Barra. Despite his parents being native speakers of the Irish language, it was not until O'Riordan was interned in the Curragh camp during the Second World War that he learnt Irish, being taught by fellow internee Máirtín Ó Cadhain who went on to lecture in Trinity College, Dublin.

As a teenager, he joined the republican youth movement, Fianna Éireann, and then the Irish Republican Army. The IRA at the time was inclined towards left wing politics and socialism. Much of its activity at the time concerned street fighting with the quasi-fascist Blueshirt movement and O'Riordan fought Blueshirt fascism on the streets of Cork City in 1933–34. O'Riordan was friends with left-wing inclined republicans such as Peadar O'Donnell and Frank Ryan, and in 1934, he followed them into the Republican Congress – a short-lived socialist republican party.

O'Riordan joined the Communist Party of Ireland in 1935 while still in the IRA and worked on the communist newspaper Socialist Voice. In 1937, following the urgings of Peadar O'Donnell, several hundred Irishmen, mostly IRA or ex-IRA men, went to fight for the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War with the XVth International Brigade. They were motivated in part by enmity towards the 800 or so Blueshirts, led by Eoin O'Duffy who went to Spain to fight on the "nationalist" side in the Irish Brigade. O'Riordan accompanied a party led by Frank Ryan. In the Republic's final offensive of 25 July 1938, O'Riordan carried the flag of Catalonia across the River Ebro. On 1 August, he was severely injured by shrapnel on the Ebro front. He was repatriated to Ireland the following month, after the International Brigades were disbanded.

Did you know...

Selected image

4th Tamil Nadu state conference of the Revolutionary Socialist Party.

Photo credit: Rspdrravindran

Communism News

No recent news

Related portals

Communism-related Wikiprojects

Communism-related featured content

Participate!

Everyone is welcome to participate in WikiProject Socialism, where editors collaborate to improve all aspects related to socialism on Wikipedia.

Selected quote

Now it is certainly easy to say to the single individual what Aristotle has already said: You have been begotten by your father and your mother; therefore in you the mating of two human beings – a species-act of human beings – has produced the human being. You see, therefore, that even physically man owes his existence to man. Therefore you must not only keep sight of the one aspect – the infinite progression which leads you further to inquire: Who begot my father? Who his grandfather? etc. You must also hold on to the circular movement sensuously perceptible in that progress by which man repeats himself in procreation, man thus always remaining the subject. You will reply, however: I grant you this circular movement; now grant me the progress which drives me ever further until I ask: Who begot the first man, and nature as a whole? I can only answer you: Your question is itself a product of abstraction. Ask yourself how you arrived at that question. Ask yourself whether your question is not posed from a standpoint to which I cannot reply, because it is wrongly put. Ask yourself whether that progress as such exists for a reasonable mind. When you ask about the creation of nature and man, you are abstracting, in so doing, from man and nature. You postulate them as non-existent, and yet you want me to prove them to you as existing. Now I say to you: Give up your abstraction and you will also give up your question. Or if you want to hold on to your abstraction, then be consistent, and if you think of man and nature as non-existent, then think of yourself as non-existent, for you too are surely nature and man. Don’t think, don’t ask me, for as soon as you think and ask, your abstraction from the existence of nature and man has no meaning. Or are you such an egotist that you conceive everything as nothing, and yet want yourself to exist?

You can reply: I do not want to postulate the nothingness of nature, etc. I ask you about its genesis, just as I ask the anatomist about the formation of bones, etc.

But since for the socialist man the entire so-called history of the world is nothing but the creation of man through human labour, nothing but the emergence of nature for man, so he has the visible, irrefutable proof of his birth through himself, of his genesis. Since the real existence of man and nature has become evident in practice, through sense experience, because man has thus become evident for man as the being of nature, and nature for man as the being of man, the question about an alien being, about a being above nature and man – a question which implies the admission of the unreality of nature and of man – has become impossible in practice. Atheism, as the denial of this unreality, has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a negation of God, and postulates the existence of man through this negation; but socialism as socialism no longer stands in any need of such a mediation. It proceeds from the theoretically and practically sensuous consciousness of man and of nature as the essence. Socialism is man’s positive self-consciousness, no longer mediated through the abolition of religion, just as real life is man’s positive reality, no longer mediated through the abolition of private property, through communism. Communism is the position as the negation of the negation, and is hence the actual phase necessary for the next stage of historical development in the process of human emancipation and rehabilitation. Communism is the necessary form and the dynamic principle of the immediate future, but communism as such is not the goal of human development, the form of human society.

— Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
More selected quotes...

Subcategories

Want to find an article related to communism? Try browsing through any of the main categories below:
Select [►] to view subcategories

Communism-related topics

General

Variations of Communism

Organizations and ruling parties, past and present

Personalities

Present and former Socialist states (under the direction of Communist parties)

Ideology and tactics

Structure

Marxian economics topics

Historical events

Military topics

Artists and writers

Influential works

Anti-communism

Communism-related lists

Things you can do

Communism in non-English Wikipedias

Articles:

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Portals

Purge server cache